Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Emma Stutzman, MPA

Emma Stutzman, MPA

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Whitewater, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in history and political science, certificate in gender and women’s studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2019

Professional/research interests
Aging/retirement policy, education policy

Expected graduation date
May 2021

Why the La Follette School?
I was really excited about the La Follette School’s Accelerated Program, which has allowed me to continue my education in Madison at a faster pace! On top of that, the La Follette School’s reputation speaks for itself. I knew I would receive a degree from a well-respected university that would give me the hands-on experience I wanted.

Teaching assistantship
I am a teaching assistant for a La Follette School undergraduate course on contemporary public policy (PA 200), and I have loved getting to talk to students about pressing and challenging issues. It’s been really fun to help students who may not have a strong background in policy understand how policy can impact so many aspects of a person’s life.

Client-based projects
In Introduction to Public Management (PA 878), I had the opportunity to work with the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health on a project to help create a survey for gauging the priorities of their supporters and looking at how the organization could take advantage of the opportunities that COVID presented to pursue its policy agenda. While this wasn’t the original plan for our project, it was an exciting challenge to look at how COVID changed the organization’s priorities.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
I would tell prospective La Follette students to take advantage of every opportunity that you can through the School. There are so many knowledgeable professors, and the school does an amazing job of putting together resources for employment and educational opportunities. Definitely take advantage of what the School has to offer.

Most challenging La Follette School experience
Statistics and economics were very difficult for me and pushed me in many different ways. I didn’t have a lot of experience in either subject and found them both daunting. But after a lot of hard work, I was able to do well in the classes and feel like I now have a good working knowledge of these topics.

Experience with the Wisconsin Idea
Because I went to UW–Madison for my undergraduate degree, I was well-aware of the Wisconsin Idea and its importance to the University. And I’ve seen it in practice in nearly every class at the La Follette School. To me, the idea of studying policy is more than theoretical knowledge. It’s learning how to make good decisions that help people. Everything I’ve learned, from policy options for increasing access to school lunches to the importance of environmental justice, is something that I’ll take out of class and apply to real-world situations.